Practice Polices & Service Information

This section lists some of the most important Practice Policies and supporting service information. It is not practical to list all of the Practice policies on this website but please speak to our Practice Manager if you require details of our other policies.


Access to Patient Information

Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality about patient information. Your medical history is/will be recorded on the practice computer system and in paper records, these records are accessed by authorised users only. For further information about who has access to patient information please see the confidentiality information guide which is available from reception.

Carers

It is helpful to know if you have a Carer (someone who takes on an unpaid caring role) or if you are a Carer for someone else. We have an established Carer's policy and a Carer's information pack available from Reception.

Chaperones

This organisation is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.

All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. The chaperone may be a family member or friend. On occasions you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present i.e. a trained member of staff.

Wherever possible we would ask you to make this request at the time of booking your appointment so that arrangements can be made and your appointment is not delayed in any way. Where this is not possible, we will endeavour to provide a formal chaperone at the time of request. However, it may be necessary to re-schedule your appointment.

Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with our Chaperone Policy.

If you would like to see a copy of our Chaperone Policy or have any questions or comments regarding this, please contact the Practice Manager. 

Problems or Complaints

We always try to provide the best service, but there may be times when you feel this has not happened or things could have been handled better. We hope you will allow us to look into and, if necessary, correct any problems that you have identified. If you wish to make a complaint, please complete a complaint form which you can obtain from reception within 12 months of the incident and address it to the Practice Manager. We will acknowledge your letter within 3 working days and respond more fully within 10 working days. 

A leaflet explaining our in house complaints procedure is available at reception.

NHS Constitution- the NHS belongs to us all!

The NHS Constitution sets out your rights as an NHS patient. These rights cover how patients access health services, the quality of care you’ll receive, the treatments and programmes available to you, confidentiality, information and your right to complain if things go wrong.

You can read more and download the constitution here.

Patient Charter

The doctors and staff are committed to providing a high quality medical service to our patients, and to treat all patients and visitors with respect and courtesy. We will endeavour to provide you with or direct you to such diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative services as will ensure the best outcome for your problems within the constraints of what is possible, reasonable and practicable.

We ask that patients and their families treat us with respect and courtesy. The health centre has a policy of removing any patient from our list who is verbally or physically abusive towards staff or other patients.

Patients Responsibilities

All patients are responsible for keeping their appointments and updating the practice if they change their name, address and telephone number etc.

Practice Computer Systems

We keep medical details of all our patients on our computer and in the traditional medical record envelopes. The computer helps us with the administration and in the important area of preventive medicine. You may be asked to complete a Patient Health Questionnaire to help keep our records up to date.

Information held on the computer is accessible only to staff with the necessary passwords. It is entirely confidential and we comply with the requirements of the DATA PROTECTION ACT.

If you wish to see your case notes please make an appointment with the Practice Manager who will arrange a convenient time. There will be a small charge for this service.

Freedom of Information Act

Information available from Avonside Health Centre under the Freedom of Information Act model publication scheme can be obtained from our Practice Manager.

Zero Tolerance

The Practice takes it very seriously if a member of staff or one of the doctors or nursing team is treated in an abusive or violent way.

The practice supports the government's 'Zero Tolerance' campaign for Health Service Staff.  This states that GPs and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused.  To successfully provide these services a mutual respect between all the staff and patients has to be in place.  All our staff aim to be polite, helpful and sensitive to all patients' individual needs and circumstances.  They would respectfully remind patients that very often staff could be confronted with a multitude of varying and sometimes difficult tasks and situations, all at the same time.  The staff understand that ill patients do not always act in a reasonable manner and will take this into consideration when trying to deal with a misunderstanding or complaint.

However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the Practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police being contacted.

In order for the Practice to maintain good relations with their patients the Practice would like to ask all its patients to read and take note of the occasional types of behaviour that would be found unacceptable:

  • Using bad language or swearing at practice staff
  • Any physical violence towards any member of the Primary Care Health Care Team or other patients, such as pushing or shoving
  • Verbal abuse towards the staff in any form including verbally insulting the staff
  • Racial abuse and sexual harassment will not be tolerated within this Practice
  • Persistent or unrealistic demands that cause stress to staff will not be accepted.  Requests will be met wherever possible and explanations given when they cannot
  • Causing damage / stealing from the Practice's premises, staff or patients
  • Obtaining drugs and / or medical service fraudulently

We ask you to treat your GPs and their staff courteously at all times

Removal from the Practice list

A good patient-doctor relationship, based on mutual respect and trust, is the cornerstone of good patient care.  The removal of patients from our list is an exceptional and rare event and is a last resort in an impaired patient-practice relationship. When trust has irretrievably broken down, it is in the patient's interest, just as much as that of the Practice, that they should find a new Practice.  An exception to this is on immediate removal on the grounds of violence e.g. when the Police are involved.

Removing other members of the household

In rare cases, however, because of the possible need to visit patients at home it may be necessary to terminate responsibility for other members of the family or the entire household.  The prospect of visiting patients where a relative who is no longer a patient of the Practice by virtue of their unacceptable behaviour resides, or being regularly confronted by the removed patient, may make it too difficult for the Practice to continue to look after the whole family.  This is particularly likely where the patient has been removed because of violence or threatening behaviour and keeping the other family members could put doctors or their staff at risk.